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Anatomy Of A Hug Vol 1

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Today, in the Metropolitan jungle, we’re expected to be etiquette-ready for any situation. On a single day you could be hopping between a traditional Indian wedding to meeting the CEO to drinking beer with your pals at a local pub to a blind date.

In between tea, cocktails and small talk, there’s that moment – the 5 seconds where you pop in for a hug and a peck on the cheek, although the later is rare in India – when you meet and greet people. Cut short, with my step-by-step guide, the next time you’re in a social or professional situation with a future client or spouse, there will be no awkwardness – you won’t go red in the face or fumble and crash face first. In the first part of this series, I’ll walk you through hugging your girlfriend.

Hugging her should be simple, provided you know which buttons to press. Begin “slow”- pull her close and tight (but don’t strangle her), in a smooth butter-like movement. Make her feel sexy and desired. Once you feel her breadth between your ears and neck, try a combination of slow small clockwise circles and up-down and across movements with your palms on her back – making sure the palms remain in the middle because too high suggests friendship and too low gives the wrong idea.

Give her warmth and safety. Think bang opposite her belly button. Once she throws her arms around your neck, do a little lift (give her the feeling of sweeping her off her feet). Throw in little nothing puppy dog kisses on her ear lobes and mid neck and shoulder area. Once you have her back on her feet, and if she’s biting her lip, slide your hands in her jean back pockets (sneak up on her with a butt hug) keeping it very casual unless you’re alone and she wishes to go further.

If you’ve mastered this, hug her from behind and flirt with her belly area. Depending on the mood, tickle her belly button and love handles with feather like fingers. Remember, not all, but most women love to be cuddled. Again, think cute, funny, gentle and innocent – nerd like. Leave her room for imagination to build a story she’ll never forget.

Published originally on GQ.

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How not to be a complete schmuck

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From what I have previously discussed, you’re A-game should be selling the idea of adventure, looking sharp, chest hair and making the first impression on Venus. That said and done, how does one go about this with little or no experience?

Begin here. Take a brief moment and think about all the times you’ve driven a group of girls to the mall, picked up their clothes from the dry cleaners or even stayed up all night listening to them rattle away about how men are dogs.

Honestly, if you partake in any of those activities, my best bet is, you’ll always remain the friend – one of the girls, so to speak.

The first thing you need to do is tell yourself, “(put your name here), you’re not going to run after women”. Repeat this in your head a few times every day. This should kindle some confidence and ignite dormant male hormones. I know what you’re thinking:

But, by doing so, wouldn’t this eliminate all my chances with females? The answer is, ‘NO’.

Here’s why. Think about all the men that run after women – making them a trophy to be won. And, here you are with the couldn’t-care-less attitude making women curious and fuelling imaginations – become the trophy.

Next, how do you fix available-on-a-whim tag without losing friends? Simple. Become exclusive, stay busy or for the sake of conversation, the next time a girl calls you to fetch her lip-gloss, let her know you’re doing something important – stuck at work, flying a plane etc.

Get the picture? By doing so, you’ll no longer be “available” all the time. In other words, you’ll come of as exclusive – the kinds women lust for.

Lastly, become or stay mysterious in the eyes of women. You can do this by speaking less about yourself, giving generalized answers and turning the conversation back on Venus. The gift of gab work like a charm, so read more newspapers, magazines etc.

Remember, be exclusive, remain mysterious and avoid chasing girls – like a dog chasing its tail – and you’ll be the man girls can’t stop talking about with their friends.

Published originally on GQ.

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High Flier Program

flight

As I snuggled my way into the economy seat of a Being 747, with a flask half-full of rum and my iPad in position for a theatrical odyssey, hoping to avoid any in-flight food and entertainment, a sexy crisp-cracker like voice on the overhead speakers of a Boeing 747 had me entranced.

It was the pilot – a female in her early 30s, and moments later, she handed over the mic to the co-pilot, another woman – although this one sounded like a girl I met at a bar in Berlin, who happened to work as a part-time belly dancer. I’m guessing this wasn’t her, although, that would be a fantasy most of us would fancy.

In a lech-like state, I pictured the first voice in garters, topped with a sexy short blue skirt, piercing white shirt littered with medals and hair tied neatly in a tight bun under a cap. And, the second voice in an electric yellow and pink Punjabi suit, with wavy hair down to her Angelina-Jolie-like bum. Think Katrina Kaif from Namaste London but with Sheila’s feline prowess.

It was only when Linda – a sexy flight steward – interrupted with a glass of Jack that I noticed the drool on my upper left shirt pocket. She knew this wasn’t the airplane food that had me in a dog-looking-for-bone state.

Around 3 am, two hours into the flight, and a few innocent glances later, I could see Linda step up to the lavatory door and press her comely body up against the door, biting her lip, big-Barbie-eyes fluttering, left hand combing her hair and the right slithering down from bust to hip in slow motion – showcasing her a body like the girls introducing a Chevy convertible on The Price Is Right, hosted by Bob Barker.

A heady clutter of thoughts ensued as I gathered my legs to follow Linda into the high-flier loyalty program. We began to work each other like clothes in a washing machine – nimble not to awake fellow passengers.

I kept thinking, Linda’s damn flexible – she had both legs wrapped around my neck, while her bum balanced on an inch of shelf. This is when I lost balance and ended our kinky jugglery by sandwiching Linda’s bum against the counter, dislocating a tap.

The sound of gushing water deafened my ears. As I regained consciousness from a sozzled slumber I could see Linda crouched over, dabbing my face with a wet towel. Apparently, I had one too many and zonked out two hours into the flight.

Published originally on GQ.

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Girls To Avoid Vol 2

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I’m sure all the women out there, who’ve read the first of this 2-part series, will brandish me as the creep-who-generalizes-women in one egotistical-male-chauvinist induced confab. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I’d say there’s truth down that road – where men are spectators to women playing dodge ball with their –ahem, cough *clearing throat- sack. In my defence, this literary trek levels the playing field for my brothers.

Foxy FOB
The Fresh-Of-The-Boat girl is a city slicker and sucker for designer label replicas. Although, her days in foreign were premature, her accent drivels your mind with vocabulary that blends English and Hindi in one extra large peanut-butter Oreo ice cream shake – a gulping feat for many. In the sartorial department, she’s a cross between Govinda and Lady Gaga – a pretty picture indeed, if you’re a cross dresser working at Barney’s Steak House. Although she’s an eyesore, you’d be surprised with her devil-may-care attitude and assertiveness. A piece of advice, keep your ears open and pivot quickly.

Bollywood Bebe
From a wardrobe that’s right of Kareena’s latest movie to pelvic thrusts, this girl’s got Bollywood covered better than Malika Arora’s legs. Oh, by the way, don’t tell her I said that. You’ll bump into this dame outside Salman’s bungalow in Bandra or at PVR, first day first show of (put name of Bollywood movie here). Her father will have a striking resemblance to Simran’s dad from DDLJ. And, don’t act surprised if she slips “I’m a bad girl, (put name of Bollywood actor)!” in bed. Ideally, this crescendo should end in a typical song and dance sequence, in a cotton field, with the both of you running apart in slow motion.

Virgin Vixen
Wipe that grin of your face, you’re no longer in school – and by being one you’re not going places. By and large, the Virgin is a mercenary of the almighty and society. Her favourite quote “mujhe bhagwan ke liye chod do” (please leave me for god). Join her and become Celibate Princess of No-Action Ville, leading an army of desperate nuns and fat chicks. You can kiss those fantasies goodbye – especially the one where you sport a birthday suit.

Facebook Fairy
As the name suggests, this is your gossipmonger, the mother of social networks i.e. faster than your Facebook status update. Even though women – by nature – are talkative beings (which is cute in a way), this girl is going to put you in an open source market – everyone will know your “pinky-swear” secrets. Don’t bother looking for Privacy setting on this Facebook page because even Zuckerberg doesn’t know where they are.

Published originally on GQ.

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Girls To Avoid Vol 1

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Over the years, with my experience and trained eye, I’ve compiled a flock from Venus who make us cringe, dig a grave or even recluse for the hills. These women are everywhere – living next door, at work, the coffee shop and (while you read this on your iPad) in bed sleeping. And, truth is, most men are unable to decipher Venus code, leading to the point of no return – marriage and kids. I say, lets attune those senses, drivel the past and start afresh – the right way.

How does one go about doing such a thing? Simple, understand the opponent, keep your ears open (like Toby Maguire from Spiderman), observe the finer details and pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you next.

Xena – Femina Warrior
Most commonly found in the corporate jungle or a leadership position. The sword, steel bust plate and Greek lace are replaced by Gucci ghetto. She oozes feminism – you’ll often receive a women-have-bigger-balls indictment. And, male chauvinism will be frowned upon. The flipside, however, has some advantages i.e. dominatrix in bed, lots of leather and spanking. Unless you’re secretly a man lesbian, you’d be better of with The Tease.

The Tease
This breed embodies a cute cuddle-like face, perfect bumpers and nature similar to Cameron Diaz from Charlie’s Angels. She’s fun, flamboyant, drinks like a bear and a natural trophy with your boys. Being with this girl is as good as bungee jumping without rubber. Every moment will be a Kodak one, you’re face will glow and life will be beautiful. But, you’ll be pissed because after all that attention, “the special-feeling”, so to speak, she’ll drop you like a peanut the moment you spill your beans i.e. speak your heart. Be prepared with tissues and lots of vodka.

Pocket Poojari
Usually found buzzing around rich ugly men with deep pockets – like flee on shit. The Pocket Poojari (devotee) is usually a 10 – every square inch dipped in sexy vanilla goo that makes men week in the knees. At this point, you’d be thinking what’s he got? The answer – my friend – is in the pocket of credit cards that sit next to a Mercedes engraved fob. Unless you’re one of the Lehman brothers, prepare to auction your assets.

Holy Bebe
You will bump into her at the temple, post prayer or pre service. A moment you will regret later with your half-baptised brain. The “Holy Bebe (typical Indian aunty)” has an answer from God for everything, including a holy cure for infidelity. At first, all this may come of as cute and funny, but once things get serious you’ll experience frequent pooja-path (prayers) – even before sex, and maybe even after. Be prepared with holy books, candles and oodles of meditation.

Matrimony Devi
You’ll meet her in cooking class, at the gym or during morning yoga in the park. Her innocent brown eyes, soft-spoken nature and simplicity will have you howling in the middle of the night like a thirsty cave man. Being with her is all about mushy talk, incessant updates that sound like where you are, have you eaten, have you pooped, did you wake up, where are you now? Her cute dimpled-smile will –in a short span- turn into annoying rants of how you should get married. If you’re a typical Indian man who’s an over possessive nincompoop, I’d say get the hell out of here.

Published originally on GQ.

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The European Bluff

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For the past week I’ve been at the receiving end of sarcasm-tossed and mischievously-rolling-in-it jokes at work. And, now all thanks to social media, and with a little help of my colleagues – Round 2 has ensued on Facebook as we speak. They can’t help but snicker over the fact that my European jaunt had Ostrich wings.

So, to set the record straight, here is what really happened in between check-in, immigration and a bottle Jack. Last month, I had scheduled a trip to Europe, to land in Barcelona and later celebrate New Year’s Eve in Paris – a short vacation to get away from a life in media exile. Excited, I prepared myself for the end of December, daily crossing out dates on iCal – a calendar App for Mac.

The thought of one week in Europe, in my language, was going to be nothing short of orgasmic. Boy, was I thrilled all month. I even had this uncanny smile pop along (like a jack in the box) on several occasions – even during serious client meetings, which I admit was kind of awkward.

But somehow this scripted journey had a twisted plot. Even Sherlock Holmes would’ve flinched on this one. All right, I made that last bit up.

On “the” day I was to board a flight for the Capital – from where I had a connecting flight later on in the night, there was a 3 hour delay due to heavy fog, which only left me enough time to grab a beer at a local shack before heading to Terminal 3.
I chartered an auto and on the way received a text from the airline informing me about the delay in schedule. At this point, unperturbed, I slipped the phone back into my jacket. Little had I known what was in store – for all of us flying out from T3 that night.

On arrival, I found a sweet spot in a corner of Costa Coffee, and spent my time wrapping up pending work. Four hours later, around 3 am, I walked up to a queue that looked a lot like something you would see outside an Apple store when Steve is about to launch something magical.

The airline crew was politely addressing passengers. It looked like we weren’t flying out that night – the fog was playing peek-a-boo with the plane. However, we were taken to a hotel in Gurgaon on the pretext that we’d be on board the next morning.
The bus ride to the hotel – which should take 15 minutes on a sunny day – took 45 minutes, and this is when I crossed into Melinda, a British national, who was in India on vacation. We had hit-it off in the buss and later one of us had suggested the idea of getting drunk at the hotel and playing poker.

To be honest, now that I look back, glass of Jack in hand, can’t help but think how Melinda and I managed to play poker without a deck of cards that night. Two days later, after speaking with the airline, with only 4 days to go in Europe, I decided to drop out and return home to my colleagues and friends with a poker face.

Published originally on GQ.

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GQ Men Of The Year 2010

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Around half past six – looking dapper in a white suit – I arrive at The Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, with the Editor of GQIndia.com, who looks like an ad man from the hit TV show Mad Men. At this point, the venue for GQ Men of The Year Awards 2010 is bustling with activity – organisers wrapping last minute jobs and media focusing their lenses – for the soon to start gala event.

The red carpet is bedecked by the smooth curves of an Audi R8, which will beguile guests as they step down a fleet of stairs. I wipe the drool of my chin and strut around the red carpet like a celebrity. Well, this is – me – getting into A-list shoes. The stage is a surreal mix of Star Trek studios and London lounge. The anchor – Rahul Khanna – is busy doing last minute rehearsals.

Right away, I know this fashionable night is going to be a heady mix of top-drawer spirits. An hour later, the venue is littered with beautiful people suffused in style. I cajole my way into high-flying businessmen, celebrities, super models, fashion designers and the well heeled, introducing myself and clicking pictures for Twitter with my Blackberry.

Two hours later, the guest list has been ticked off and the show begins. Only moments later, as per plans, a short circuit like drama trips the lights. Screams, hoots and cheers fill the room and John Travolta appears on the scene. And, this is the only time I’ve seen girls whistle and hoot like teenage men.

Thirsty, I step into the lobby, grab a glass of red wine to slake my throat and cross into AD Singh and Rahul Bose. We briefly discuss Olive and the gorgeous women there. I walk around, behind the bar where Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai are being escorted by a military of bodyguards. They tell me to stay clear. I obey.

On loitering around further I meet Chunkey Pandey (he talks about John Travolta’s dance moves), an Italian diplomat, Naseerudhin Shah and family (his sons are chilled out fellows), Purab Kohli (he’s much taller in real life), Sreenivasan Jain, Priyanaka Chopra (who thinks I’m some dude with a Blackberry clicking random pictures, but poses anyway), Abhay Deol, Kabir Bedi and many more.

As the star-studded event concludes, the glitterati grab a quick bite before heading to China House for the after party. At three in the night, tired, I leave – because I have an early flight to catch – as the party continues into the wee hours with no room for slowing down – truly GQ style.

Published originally on GQ.

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Sell Yourself

Pierce_Brosnan_

The art of seduction works quite like an advertising campaign. You get a great product; like yourself, a consumer; the lady of your dreams, and some great direct marketing techniques. The lattermost, requiring fine-tuning those inter-personal skills and fabricating some engaging packaging.

Like most advertising campaigns, we will begin with the product; i.e., you. The brief is simple – the buyer should fall in love with the product. Lets begin with the product benefits. This is where your mastery of juggling flames on a horseback, with one leg balancing a glass of wine comes in handy.

Alright handyman, you’ve got the stuff lion tamers dream of but you’ll need to wipe the sweat off your chin. I suggest keeping it manly. The stubble and couldn’t-be-bothered-chest-hair look are slowly coming back. Think rock-star! This doesn’t imply leather pants and a pierced tongue. Be irresistible in a sharp suit like Pierce Brosnan from James Bond or Jude Law in Alfie.

Next in line, product activation and a direct marketing strategy that will have her eating out of your hands. Prepare by learning the language of Venus and building your first impression. Set out deadlines- a timetable for executing the entire campaign. The way to go about this is simple and easily manoeuvrable.

Firstly, booking a restaurant table in advance is the way way to go. Have the Head-Chef personally attend to your every whim, and it will surely seal the deal. Showing her a good time and pampering her is an investment. These techniques are bound to keep your returns at least ten fold.

So now, we’ve packaged the product and applied direct marketing techniques. Its time to bring on below-the-line activities. Like sending her flowers, a book she was eyeing at Chapters or even a puppy and sending cute-little-nothing messages. This will increase brand recall, securing a secret place in her imagination, which is also known as positioning.

Last but not the least, brand management. And remember, any successful advertising campaign demands a mix of techniques. These are the product; you, promotion; direct selling techniques, place; mall, restaurant, theatre, park and brand management – consistency. Be true, be yourself and invest-worthy profits are in your forecast.

Published originally on GQ.

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The First Impression

the first impression

Alright, you’ve memorized the language spoken on Venus in one odious chug-a-thon. What next? How do you move from classroom inspired ideas into the real world – a place where women swarm around like sharks, making lawyers poodles in frocks?
Frankly, first impressions are old fashioned; yet they work like a charm with certain resilience. Prepare well. Do the maths – girls have been imagining prince charming to the rescue. I say, why break a habit.

In other words, don’t you love it when women smell like fresh mangos? Women appreciate the effort too. Attend to male grooming emergencies and pamper every square inch – you never know where the night may take you.
Truth is, women dress well because they want to be approached; they want men to walk up to them and initiate conversation. Next time you walk into a bar and see a huddle of beautiful girls eyeing you, go make that first move – it turns them on even more.

Here is the tricky bit: what comes next? You’ve wooed her with your uber cool pick up line – the one you’ve memorized backward from college, ordered the first drink and seated her across a private table. Now what?

The real test begins.

Holding her attention will require the right mix of cocktails, humour, intellect, flirting and, of course, swagger. A good tip to keep in mind is to let her do most of the talking. A typical conversation should have you talking no more than a quarter of the time. And this too, should just be lots of “I see” and “I understand.” Women love it when men listen with an ear of interest.

And lastly, one of the most crucial aspects of making the first impression is avoid coming across a perve. It is the worst thing you could do to your A game. For example: while escorting her, place your arm on her back, but be very careful where you place the hand, too low shows desperation, too high means amateur.

Remember, girls want the same things as you do, so show them that you have a naughty side, help them experience a platter of feelings they can’t resist. Cheers!

Published originally on GQ.

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Day 1

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Day 1, June 23, 2015
Chandigarh-Mumbai

By 3am we had successfully failed for 4 straight hours at booking a trip to the concrete jungles of India- Bombay, Delhi and Bangalore.

Anyone who’s ever lived in small town will tell you how suffocating clean air and a peacful life can be.

Bring on the crowd and chaos.

It now reminds me of Balram Halvai’s dream of moving to the big city and wearing a uniform and blowing a silver whistle, the protaganist of a fictional novel The White Tiger, which I began to read on the flight later during the day.

[Wait, I forgot to elucidate the ‘we’ up there.]

Frustrated, we took a bite out of the salami sandwhich my sister had prepared for us.

[That makes it three people. Unless, otherwise specified.]

She was amused by our prdicament. Every now and then she’d walk by the table, pause, look over our shoulders and see the booking page screen stuck in a time warp.

If Nippun had had his way, we’d be trekking in the Himalayas or what people refer to as the outdoors. I, on the other hand, feel otherwise. No cell connectivity, no go.

A compromise has been drawn.

Relieved, we (Nippun, a friend who happens to be a musician and teacher) punched in our itinerary short of 2 weeks. After much deliberation, the flighst were booked, added to Passbook on our iPhones and tucked neatly away under “Trips” in my Cleartrip travel app.

Nerdgasm.

That morning, I not only had to pack my bags but go for my workout and before returning home make a pit stop at the office to pickup the Macbook Pro charger.

Senior Designer, Brand Designer, Experience Designer, Art Director, Creative Director, Branding, Brand Consultant, Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture, Brand Engagement, Brand Experience Design, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Freelance Designer, Freelance Graphic Designer, Freelance Web Designer, Packaging Designer, Poster Design, Album Cover Design, Branded Environment Design, Environmental Graphics, Signage & Wayfinding, Logo Design, Brandmark, Brand Identity, Brand Driver, Brand Positioning, Naming, Verbal Branding, Visual Driver, Brand Guidelines, Book Cover Design, Editorial Design, Lookbook Design, Communication Design, Copywriter, Blogger, Brand Design Studio, Toronto, Downtown Toronto, New York, New York City, NYC, TDOT, GQ

Luckily, on my way back home, I recieved a text from GoAir informing me of a 50 minute flight delay due to heavy rains and wind.

With that text, I now had the luxury of covering a few more errands and feeling impressed by GoAir’s courtious service.

No. They don’t pay me to write good shit about them.

You know what, little things make me happy. I think it’s meticulous attention to details that catches my fancy everytime.

Design. Design. Design the tiny experiences. Someone’s got to give a shit and really care. It shows. Trust me.

Tyres inflated, check. Toenails clipped, check.

Nippun arrives in an Uber and we’re off to the airport. Not having to print out a ticket seems so obvious now when only a few years ago, it couldn’t have been imagined.

We’re checked-in (not on Facebook and Foursquare) and waiting for a boarding announcement.

In other news, Nippun hasn’t slept or had anything to eat this morning while adding another absent to his workout calendar. He makes a beeline for the coffee and sandwhich stall.

Spotify numbs me from crying babies and the loud chatter of passengers. I keep telling myself, this moment is not a rehersal to a kindergarten school play.

I love kids in adult bodies only.

I turn to page 46, pull out my left ear piece to make sense of the announcement and look out towards the tarmac. At first, I see grey tones but as I adjust my lense and earpiece, the romantic downpour appears to be trees in the depths waving their arms up in the air like they just don’t care.

The smell of rain, cheap coffee, a pair naked toes and the sight of an aircraft, in the longest time, appear in slow motion towards boarding gate 2 is bliss.

Allow me to better describe “bliss” here.

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As the plane made it’s way towards the gate, my chin raised itself by an inch, back straightened to get a better glimpse of the fuselage of this Airbus 320. Only women do this chest out, back straight, flirt-body-innuendo better.

A feeling of awe.

Even upon landing, on the shuttle bus towards the terminal, I’m consumed with plane livery, picking my favourites and drawing mental sketches of how’d they could be designed better.

Turns out the first Uber I book out of the gate belongs to an American-English-accent speaking driver. He requests me to rebook as he’s about to end his shift. Something about white people language… I let him off the hook.

The next Uber took us via SeaLink and Haji Ali, as requested. We arrive opposite to a minimal sign labled ‘Abode’. I striked off the hotel from my “places to visit” mental Foursquare checklist.

We’re greeted to a beautiful lobby…

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Guy finds girlfriend’s Backpage post

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Rested my laptop, walked out of Starbucks on the corner of Fifth Ave & 49th Street and to my shock/surprise, in the middle of the chaos that is Manhattan -at 6pm- a hot girl (possible part-time model) jumps out of an Uber cab and bolts for the next one.

Seconds later, as the camera pans back to the street, out comes a brownish guy, from the same vehicle. He’s chasing that girl. From the looks of it, his body language tied to a foul mouth, you’d assume they’re fighting over his tiny penis.

Don’t ask me how the tiny penis got into all this. Stay with me, it gets better. I’m back onto my iPhone 5s (Gold) and searching for the closest Fedex Office, as I need to send a pair of shoes to a close friend back home.

Alright, I don’t know how but somehow the generic street noise numbs and I begin to hear the couple yelling foul and, my curious bitch instincts act up, strategically placing me yards away from the aforesaid relationship debacle.

I’m enjoying the yelling and public scene. It’s net neutrality free drama. Here’s where the conversation takes a whole new dimension.

The guy yells out, “I know about your back page listing BITCH!!!”.

*Gulp. A shiver runs down my rectum.

For those who’re naive and innocent unless proven in court, Backpage is where men go to find whores. Most of these girls are foreigners trying to make it into NYC by soliciting their genitals for rent money. Or in other words, these are your conventional strippers/prostitutes gone tech savvy. They are currently developing an app for the Apple watch- abled to send vibrations directly to your cock (fuck the cute hearts).

I can only imagine. Wait. Actually. I can’t imagine what’s going on in this guy’s head on finding the love of his life (who probably slept with him once- minus the head or anal) is fucking Manhattan for cash.

*Here’s a billion dollar idea. Feel free to develop it and send me equity. Paypal/Uber for whores. Fuck you if it exists.

Here’s the thing. NYC is a bit crazy like that. Men and women are casually dating 3-4 people at a time. Imagine the STDs going around. Phew! Phew!

I’m not taking sides here but that dude got fucked over. The moral of the story. If you think you’re getting serious over a chick, search for the brunette with a dimple on her lower abdomen on Backpage.

By the way, shipping a pair of shoes through Fedex is three times the cost of the merchandise. Fuck, right?

Categories
SYNG

How I was caught shoplifting

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With nothing on the cards for a sunny Sunday afternoon, my mother announced a trip to the local mall. I was in the 3rd grade that year. A few Nintendo games aside, a toboggan [a long, light, narrow vehicle, typically on runners, used for sliding downhill over snow or ice] sitting beneath boxes of unused stuff in the attic, there wasn’t much I had on my to-do list.

*At the time, internet was in it’s nascent stages. Selfie, Facebook, Twitter and the term “social-media” didn’t exist. Neither did girls-gone-wild.

Within minutes, my mom had my sister and me in the backseat. Window-shopping, eating a Double Big Mac at McDonald’s or the skin-covered chicken at Swiss Chalet and loitering around between toy and sports aisles made for an adventurous evening with my sister and mother.

Post Sears, Wal-Mart and Loblaws, we’d head to Toy’r’us on pleading and begging [which my mom would try and avoid knowing I’d create a scene and embarrass her for not letting me have either Batman figurines or Nintendo games].

For your information, I had, in class one stolen my classmate’s pencil and on my mother’s knowledge of such behaviour received a massive thrashing. Earlier that evening, on interrogation, I had turned blue and come short of an alibi.

*Quick tip if you’re going to attempt and lie through your teeth- mother’s parental instincts can look into the depths of your soul. Tread carefully if you may.

I felt guilty and ashamed that night as if it was the end of me. The next day, I returned the stolen pencil, promising myself to never ever steal or lie again.

But today [the 5th grade], a few years later from the rare-pencil incident, I was at the mall, forgotten of any such behaviour, standing eye-to-eye with a pack of baseball cards. I wanted them so badly [in my defence, all the kids at school were showing off their collection and I badly needed to feel “in” or cool or accepted, I guess].

I had wiped the slate clean only to have it re-written this day. I inched closer towards the rack, eliminating any distance between my chest and the set of cards. I pulled a few packs down in each hand and made a b-line for the bathroom. Clearly, I hadn’t thought this through as I wasn’t a thief or a shoplifter by profession.

I closed the bathroom booth door behind me. As I sat there, with my pants down, staring back at the pack of cards, a trickle of sweat ran down my back.

This was it. The moment of truth. I was going to shoplift these packs of cards. My brain began to work in overdrive, shelling thoughts of getting caught or walking away from the whole episode scot free.

I made up my mind. On quickly unwrapping all the packs, I disposed of the covers in the bin and shoved a fist-full of cards down my underwear. On pulling my pants back on, I could feel the stiff cards poking up against my crotch.

No pain no gain, right.

With all the courage left in me, I walked out of the booth and then the bathroom. I could feel the sweat on my palms as well as an accelerated heart-beat between my chest.

By now, some sweat off my crotch had rubbed up against the cards making them soggy. I suppose a few cards were going to be sacrificed in the process but I didn’t let that worry me then.

On strolling around for a bit, I fixed my stride and found my mother between an aisle for cushion covers and sheers. I made my move and began to walk over towards her, thinking I had successfully gotten away with shoplifting baseball cards. Only a few strides later, two elderly men, in their mid-thirties, cut me off by the perfume section.

I looked up in utter dismay and shock. Fuck. I was caught. Now what? They told me they had been watching me from CCTV cameras. They requested for my parents, and upon seeing unidentified men crossing paths between her son, my mother walked over and listened to the entire episode patiently.

Disappointed by her son’s stupidity, my mom began to apologise and begged the undercover mall security personal to forgive me. She reiterated this was my first time.

*We all know how true that was.

As I watched the sequence of events unfold in dismay, I slowly pulled out the baseball cards from my underwear and handed them over to one of the men without ever raising my head once.

One of the men, closer towards me, got down on a knee, while the other continued to talk to my mom, and with one hand around my elbow told me of the consequences and the fact that I was in so-much trouble. But he was going to let me off this once because he could see that I had been humiliated and shattered forever.

Once the men were gone, my mom looked at me in a way I had never experienced before. It’s a look that I will never forget. It was of momentary-lost-faith and forgiveness and paternal-instincts factor [unable to describe exact emotions].

That evening, we had McDonald’s for dinner and the incident has never been brought up in the last 25 years.